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There are many rumors about the edibility of Bradford pear fruit, and if you are also wondering, ‘Is Bradford pear tree fruit edible,’ this article is for you. Apart from the breathtaking appearance that it can bring to your landscape, ‘Can you eat Bradford pear tree fruit?’

Well, the answer to this question has always been a debate or controversy for many years. Many people think this fruit is edible and can safely be used in jam, jellies, or other desserts, while others argue the fruit is highly toxic and should always be avoided.

Therefore, today I will not only help you learn about the edibility of Bradford pear fruit but also provide you with the latest information & Research I have found while writing this article.

Is Bradford Pear Tree Fruit Edible? 

Some people believe the Bradford pear fruit is safe to eat & even use it to make jams and jellies, but it’s not right. According to Scientific Research, the fruit of a Bradford pear tree is not edible for humans.

The fruit contains hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous chemical that can be harmful if ingested. Even cooking the fruit of the Bradford pear tree cannot remove its toxic compounds, so it’s better to avoid eating Bradford pear fruit.

As per Wikipedia, the fruit of a Bradford pear tree contained high levels of hydrogen cyanide, a toxic compound. Hydrogen cyanide can be very toxic and harmful if we consume it in high amounts.

For comparison, 1 kg of pear fruit can contain approximately 200-300 mg of hydrogen cyanide than 500-600 mg per kg of apple seeds. Here is a problem table to help you compare better: 

FruitCyanide Level (mg/kg)
Bradford Pear225
Apple Seeds600
Apricot Seeds1500-3000
Cherry Seeds2000-3000
Peach Seeds1400-2800
Plum Seeds350

Despite the scientific evidence, there has been a long-standing controversy surrounding the edibility of the Bradford pear tree fruit. Many people think this tree fruit is very similar to regular pear fruit, which is untrue. Even though these two trees are quite related, their fruit is very different.

Also, Bradford pear trees come with fruit with a small hard taste and a gritty texture. Many people think that they can process this fruit or cook it so it can be safely eaten. You should note that cooking the fruit will not help it remove its toxic compound, especially hydrogen cyanide which is harmful to us.

You must know the Bradford pear tree was not originally grown for its fruit. It was introduced to the United States in the early 1900s as an ornamental tree because of its beautiful white flowers in the spring.

Also Read: Are Bradford Pear Trees Poisonous To Dogs?

Risks & Precautions

You should always avoid eating the fruit in any way as it poses a serious health threat to humans. Since it contains cyanide, you are always at risk of cyanide poisoning after eating this fruit. If you experience a headache or dizziness, contacting the doctor as soon as possible is important. If you are feeling confused or vomiting, please get medical help promptly.

In severe cases, it can also cause death. In addition, if you have this Bradford pear tree on your property, you should consider removing it if you have kids or pets at your home. Removing the fruit before it ripens is also recommended to prevent any human or animal from accidentally consuming it.

There are many reasons why you should never consume. Firstly it comes with a very gritty texture and sour taste, which I guarantee you will never enjoy eating. In addition, if you accidentally eat this fruit, you may also experience severe digestive discomfort. People suffering from an over-sensitive immune system should especially avoid this tree fruit.

It is best to use the tree as an ornamental beauty on the landscape. Also, note that people often use pesticides and other chemicals on their trees, making them harmful to humans and the environment.

Here, you can learn “7 Reasons Why Are Bradford Pear Trees Bad For The Environment?” The cyanide in this fruit also poses a serious health problem if consumed in large amounts. It’s not considered a regular food item and has no nutritional value. So it’s better to avoid consuming a Bradford pear fruit.

Effects of the Bradford Pear Tree Fruit

Well, it is best to avoid using the fruit altogether, but it is safe for some wildlife to eat. A few species of birds and deer can eat this fruit, but before you feed it to your pet bird, it is important to cook it and wash it thoroughly to remove any potential toxins.

Even though the fruit of the Bradford Pear tree may not be a common snack for humans, it can have some effects on the environment. Let’s explore those effects now.

Effects on Wildlife

One of the biggest concerns with the fruit of the Bradford Pear tree is that it can attract wildlife. However, this is good for people like me who love birdwatching. You should know that Birds, in particular, are known to eat the fruit & spread its seeds throughout the environment.

This has also led to increased Bradford pear trees in many areas and potentially becoming invasive in some areas. Even this tree is banned in some states like South Carolina & Ohio.

To know know, read “Bradford Pear Tree Bans in Ohio & SC: 5 Reasons + Effects”. If you’re looking to remove it, here you can learn about the estimated Bradford Pear Tree Removal Cost with Factors to Consider.

Effects on Ecosystems

In addition to potentially becoming invasive, the Bradford Pear tree can also impact local ecosystems. The tree is not native to North America, and as a result, it does not provide the same level of support to local wildlife as native trees do.

For example, the Bradford Pear tree does not produce nectar or pollen beneficial to bees, which can harm pollination in your area if grown.

Alternative Plant Options

If you’re looking for an ornamental tree to plant in your yard, you can have a Bradford pear tree, but it might not be beneficial for the surrounding plants & trees. Fortunately, plenty of alternative options can provide the same visual appeal without the potential negative impacts of the Bradford Pear tree.

Some alternative trees you can consider growing in your landscape are the Eastern Redbud, the Flowering Dogwood, & the Serviceberry. I like dogwood, and I’ve covered the whole topic of dogwood trees on this website.

Other Uses of Bradford Pear Tree Fruit

Non-Culinary Uses of the Fruit

You can use the fruit of the Bradford pear tree as bird feeds to some extent. Since this fruit tends to be high in sugar, it is a popular food source for birds. You can place the fruit on a bird feeder or a tree branch to attract birds to your garden.

Industrial Uses of the Fruit

Did you know that the Bradford pear tree’s fruit contains pectin, a natural thickener? Many food industry manufacturers use pectin as a thickener in products like jams, jellies, and other preserves. Today, industries are heavily extracting pectin from fruits, including Bradford pear fruit, because it can be used similarly.

Environmental Uses of the Fruit

You can also use the fruit of your Bradford pear tree as compost. You might already know that composting is a great way to recycle organic waste and turn it into nutrient-rich soil. Without any worry, you can add fruit from your Bradford pear tree to a compost pile to help break down other organic matter.


I hope this article has properly answered the question: can you eat Bradford pear tree fruit? Since there has been a huge debate on the edibility of Bradford pear tree fruit, I tried my best to clear this confusion throughout this article. If you find the article helpful, then consider sharing it.

Your share will help people learn ‘ if Bradford pear tree fruit is edible’ and why they should not let Bradford pear tree fruit ripen & fall to the ground. Check my other article on this website regarding Bradford pear tree care and management. See you in the next post; till then, take care & goodbye.